Previously, Hope didn't offer a clipless pedal, but now they have three. Their brand new Union clipless pedals cover all intended uses from XC, trail and DH/enduro. Unlike some clipless pedals which are cross-compatible with Shimano cleats, Hope use their own cleat design and their pedals aren't compatible with anyone else's cleats.
Interestingly, the pedals ship with two sets of cleats, which allow you to choose between 4° or 5° of float, and 12° or 13° release angle, respectively. Both cleats also allow 2mm of side-to-side float. The front part of the clip mechanism isn't rigidly fixed to the pedal body, but can move up as the cleat pushes into the slot. According to Hope, this reduces the force required to clip-in and allows a wider range of cleat/foot angles to engage. That could be handy when trying to clip back in on bumpy ground.
Hope Union Details
• Three models for XC, Trail and Gravity
• Claimed weight: 324g, 437g & 498g, respectively
• Dual clip mechanism - both front and rear clip parts move to ease cleat entry
• Proprietary cleats (not cross-compatible with other systems)
• Two cleat options giving 4° or 5° of float
• Cr-Mo axle (RC has Titanium axle), machined pedal body, stainless steel clip mechanism and cleats
• Three cartridge bearings plus Norglide bush, same parts as F20 flat pedal ,m
• Fully serviceable internals
• $190-$200 / £150-£160 / €185-€195
Here's how Hope describe the intended use of the three Union pedals:
• Union RC
– Race Clip, small platform designed for decreased weight; 324g; £150/€185/$190
• Union TC
– Trail Clip, larger platform with 4 pins per side for increased contact with the shoe sole and greater stability for more aggressive riding; 437g; £150/€185/$190
• Union GC
– Gravity Clip, large platform with option of 7 pins per side or foot plates to give maximum contact between the shoe and pedal, providing the greatest stability; 498g; £160/€195/$200
The engagement mechanism is forward-entry only and has adjustable release tension. Hope promises a "positive and consistent" release feel, and the 5° cleat has a firmer release.
The GC pedal has a large platform with a similar shape to the Shimano Saint pedal
, although the Hope GC has more pins (7 per side vs. 4).
Being Hope, they're available in six different colours: black, blue, orange, purple, red and silver. The internals are shared with Hope's F20 flat pedal
, meaning three cartridge bearings and a Norglide bushing, and they should be easy enough to take apart and service. The lightweight RC pedal uses a titanium axle, while the TC and GC use a Cro-Mo steel axle, but these can be upgraded to titanium aftermarket.
All three Union pedals are now available for retailers to order, with first deliveries scheduled for September.
After a few people asked why Hope felt the need to make their own proprietary cleats - rather than using out-of-patent and common Shimano SPD cleats - I asked Hope to comment and got this response: